Review: Definitely, Maybe

Definitely, Maybe (2008)
112 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by Adam Brooks
Starring:  Ryan Reynolds, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Breslin


Grade:  B

“Definitely, Maybe” is a romantic-comedy that concentrates a lot more on the romantic aspect of the genre.  But it shouldn’t be considered a complete romance film because of its light and easy tone.  It’s certainly not the family film that the commercials and trailers made it out to be, but nonetheless it’s a respectable movie.

Ryan Reynolds stars as William Hayes who is going through a divorce.  He ends up storytelling to his daughter Maya (Breslin) about how he met her mother.  Little did he know he was spilling his heart out about the three most important women in his life.  But which one is Maya’s mother?  Even more importantly, which one is he in love with?

That’s the fun in this movie, although it’s not very mind-boggling who’s the one he’s in love with.  The movie takes place mostly in flashback in Manhattan 1990’s.  Without spoiling the film, I’ll just say that William has an up and down relationship with Emily (Banks), his college darling, Summer (Weisz), the sophisticated and workaholic journalist, and April (Fisher), the underachieving and free-spirited New Yorker.

Ryan Reynolds’ performance was just as plain and ordinary you could expect from a guy in a rom-com… except this wasn’t an ordinary rom-com.  Here, Reynolds had the opportunity to really show off his talent because Will was the ultimate force driving the idea of love and finding the right girl.  Instead, his women counterparts stole the movie from him, expressing their unique and refreshing personalities to contrast his dullness.

Definitely, Maybe is a modern day romantic-comedy that seems a lot more truthful than the others.  It’s no where close to being perfect, but when the characters aren’t written as “the good one” or “the evil one”… you’re ahead of the game.  That was one of the glaring positives this movie had.  Every character had their flaws and their reasons for their actions, and most of the time that complicates the situations.  Especially for the protagonist, Will, who goes through the most changes throughout.  There’s a theme of timing here… there are plenty of occasions when you just hit bad timing, but maybe you get lucky once and the timing is perfect.  Those are the moments you have to take advantage of because life doesn’t give you too many.

Overall, this movie was a surprise to me.  It was funny, romantic, and on top of everything it was intelligent with strong dialogue, well-developed characters, and a satisfying plot.  Only if all romantic comedies were as good as this.


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